“it is fundamentally important to making Scotland’s new powers work…It is the final interlocking piece of the jigsaw.”

We could not agree more.

Alex Cunningham: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Stewart Hosie: I will give way in a moment. The shadow Secretary of State laid out the context for potential new powers, and I will do the same for the current state of play of Scotland’s public finances, and the situation in which we are negotiating the fiscal agreement. The UK Government’s cuts to Scotland’s fiscal departmental expenditure limits between the start of the last Parliament and the end of this one will be almost £4 billion, which represents a 12.5% real-terms cut. Almost half of that—£1.5 billion—will be between now and the end of the Parliament. That is, to put it another way, a 4.2% cut to Scotland’s fiscal DEL.

Even on capital, notwithstanding the Government’s assertion that it is being increased, Scotland will see a reduction of £600 million between the start of 2010 and the end of the Parliament. That is before we even get to the possibility of in-year cuts to the Scottish block grant, as we have seen in the past, having a real, immediate and direct impact on budgets that the Scottish Parliament has already set and agreed.

Alex Cunningham: rose—

Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): rose

Stewart Hosie: I am conscious of the time, but I will take an intervention from the hon. Member for Stockton North (Alex Cunningham).

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Alex Cunningham: The hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) said that the SNP knew what it wanted. If that is the case, will the hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie) tell us what the SNP wants and where the Tory Government’s offer falls short?

Stewart Hosie: I will certainly speak to our amendment and comment on the motion tabled by the hon. Gentleman’s Front Benchers. I may even touch on what I think would be the best possible outcome for Scotland. I hope that will make him happy.

The cuts I have described are vital to the context in which the fiscal agreement is being negotiated. The cuts are not driven by a fiscal agreement or by the Scottish Government, but by the UK Government’s fiscal charter. The fiscal charter is a requirement to run a budget surplus of enormous proportions—a £10 billion absolute surplus and a £40 billion current account surplus by the end of this Parliament. The framework is being negotiated in the context of this Government’s cutting £40 billion a year more than is required to run a balanced current budget. That means we are negotiating on it in the context of being in the middle of a decade of UK austerity.

The alternative is clear: a modest rise in public expenditure. That would still see the deficit fall, the debt as a share of GDP fall and borrowing come down. A modest 0.5% real terms increase in expenditure would release about £150 billion for spending and investment, and make the cuts we are seeing, which are partly driving the fiscal agreement discussion, absolutely redundant.

Mr Kevan Jones rose

Stewart Hosie: I will take one more intervention at this point.

Mr Jones: I would say this to the hon. Gentleman, whom I consider a friend. He is talking about percentage cuts to the Scottish budget, but he should look at areas, such as the north-east, that have had far bigger cuts proportionally. Unlike him, his party and his Government, people in those areas do not have the ability to raise taxes. Why have the Scottish Government not used the tax-raising powers they already have to fill some of the gap he is describing?

Stewart Hosie: That question is important, and I will come on to the use of tax-raising powers. We often hear such an argument from members of the Labour party but let us be under no illusion, because it is wrong. The Scottish Government use their tax powers daily. A council tax freeze to protect families for eight years was the use of a tax-raising power. The small business bonus to protect 100,000 businesses, which now pay no or lower business rates, was a good use of a tax-raising power. The power to mitigate the entire effect of the bedroom tax was a good use of such a power. The idea that powers are not used is simply wrong.

Mr Jones: Use them to raise money.

Stewart Hosie: For the hon. Gentleman’s benefit, I will come on to the specific issue of raising tax in a just a moment.

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Before I leave the context of the UK fiscal charter, let me say that we all recall the vote on 13 January 2015 on the implied £30 billion of cuts, when we made many of the same points we are making today. The great tragedy then and now is that the Labour party supported £30 billion of extra Tory pain and austerity.

Ian Murray: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Stewart Hosie: I will happily give way.

Ian Murray: Let us just dispel this constant nonsense from the Scottish National party. The hon. Gentleman’s own First Minister said, when she launched the Scottish business partnership at Tynecastle stadium in June, that the framework on which there was a vote on 13 January 2015 gave Governments enough flexibility to do as they wished. It was very similar to the fiscal framework or charter that he promoted back in November. He refuses to use such powers; he would rather demolish and demoralise Scottish public services.

Stewart Hosie: As the arguments are complicated, it is so much easier simply to quote in full from the 15 January issue of the new Labour leadership’s favourite newspaper, the Morning Star:

“Labour MP Diane Abbott accused her party’s leaders yesterday of doing working people a ‘great disservice’ by backing Tory plans for permanent austerity.”

The hon. Gentleman keeps getting it wrong.

The key thing is that Scotland’s budget has been cut and will continue to be cut by this Government, which makes the achievements of the Scottish Government all the more remarkable. That makes it all the more important not simply that we get any old fiscal agreement, but that we get it right. We must ensure that the Smith commission principle of “no detriment” is adhered to and that we do not embed unfairness in the system, so that we are not subject to possible additional cuts of about £350 million a year. We need to avoid that outcome so that we can continue to do good things and build on the progress we have seen in health spending, which is up to £12.3 billion this year and will be £13 billion next year, and in education.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Greg Hands): May I bring the hon. Gentleman back to the fiscal framework? I am interested in the amendment that he has tabled, because it seems to quote from the Smith commission—particularly paragraph 95(3) on no detriment, which states that

“the Scottish and UK Governments’ budgets should be no larger or smaller simply as a result of the initial transfer of tax and/or spending powers”.

The amendment carefully deletes some important parts of the Smith agreement. It states that

“Scotland would be no worse or better off simply as a result of the transfer of additional powers”.

Why has he deleted the word “initial”, which is very important in respect of the transfer of powers, and any reference to fairness to the UK taxpayer?

Stewart Hosie: For the sake of brevity. Let me be very clear that the negotiations that are under way are founded on a number of principles, including no detriment as a result of the devolution of further powers initially and

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no detriment as a result of the policy decisions of the UK Government or Scottish Government post-devolution. I would have thought that the Chief Secretary might have known that.

The whole point of getting this right is to avoid a potential cut of an additional £3.5 billion over a decade, so that the Scottish Government can continue their good work. We do not want those additional cuts to be made, because they would weaken our ability to internationalise the economy; hinder our support for businesses seeking to innovate and to do research and development; suck vital resources out of our plans to invest in education and infrastructure; and undermine all the work being done by the Scottish Government to deliver the fall in unemployment and the highest employment rates in the UK.

We understand the trajectory that Scotland’s public finances will take if the wrong block grant adjustment is chosen. As I say, it will perhaps mean the loss of £3.5 billion over a decade.

Maggie Throup (Erewash) (Con): Given how the hon. Gentleman is speaking, it almost sounds as if the SNP MPs are having second thoughts about the new powers in the Scotland Bill. Is that because they are afraid of taking them on board?

Stewart Hosie: No. The hon. Lady is absolutely wrong; we are not having second thoughts about the powers. We want the powers—indeed, we want more powers—but the agreement that is reached must deliver a Scotland Bill in line with the Smith commission principles, in particular that of no detriment.

We want to avoid a potential additional cut of £3.5 billion over a decade.

David Mowat: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Stewart Hosie: Not at the moment.

What is remarkable is that the motion does not talk about public finances or the impact of getting the fiscal agreement wrong. It is almost exclusively focused on the process of negotiating a formula—a formula that, of course, must deliver no detriment, which was one of the key principles identified by Lord Smith. Although fairness for Scotland is recognised in the motion, many other drivers of Scotland’s public finances are not.

John Redwood rose

Stewart Hosie: Not at the moment.

There was a cursory passing reference to Labour’s plan, which was announced yesterday, to make Scotland the highest-tax part of the UK. That has a bearing on the public finances. It is a Labour plan to add to the tax burden of half a million Scottish pensioners. It is a plan to add to the tax burden of 2.2 million taxpayers. In essence, it is a plan to change the public finances by taxing Scots more to pay for Tory cuts. That is the weakness in Labour’s plan.

David Mowat rose

John Redwood rose

Stewart Hosie: No, I am conscious of time and it would not be fair to give way.

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It is absolutely right that the negotiations are done privately. Imagine if there was a running commentary and slight snippets of information, out of context, became the fodder for a new “project fear” campaign run by Labour. We do not want that. We want a Labour party that, instead of sniping from the sidelines, is determined to support fair play, and a fair settlement that delivers on the principle of “no detriment”. Instead, we have this thin motion, combined with Labour MSPs who last week backed the Tories and refused to back the per capita index deduction block grant adjustment mechanism, which would deliver the “no detriment” principles that Labour signed up to in the Smith agreement.

In my view, that is economic and political madness from Labour, but it is not a surprise. After all, in advance of the fiscal agreement, before agreement is reached on a LCM, and before powers are transferred, the Labour party has spent many times over the modest cost of a reduction in air passenger duty—a policy that will create 4,000 jobs and put £200 million of economic activity into the economy—by committing to spend £650 million of Scotland’s public finances from a pot that does not yet even exist. No wonder Labour Members are more interested in talking about process than policy.

As the First Minister has said, the Scottish Government are negotiating the fiscal agreement in good faith, but they will not sign up to a deal that systematically cuts Scotland’s budget, regardless of anything that they, or any future Scottish Government, might do. That message has been reiterated many times by the Deputy First Minister, who said a few moments ago that the reason why we do not have a fiscal agreement right now is that there is no basis to be agreed that is consistent with the Smith commission, and we will not sign up to any document that is not consistent with the Smith commission report.

Let me conclude by being even clearer on behalf of my party: we will not agree to a fiscal agreement that abandons the principle of “no detriment” and embeds unfairness into the Scotland Bill. We will not support Labour tonight. This is a silly motion about publishing minutes that does not address the core substance of the fiscal agreement. We have tabled an amendment to that motion, and I commend it to the House.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: Order. A three-minute time limit now applies.

6.27 pm

Mr Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con): It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie), but I cannot agree with him that the principles of per capita indexed deduction, which he and the Labour party support, are consistent with the Smith commission. That commission had two “no detriment” principles, and that system of indexation and deduction does not comply with both those principles. It will be difficult for the rest of the United Kingdom to accept any deal that is premised on such a biased indexation system.

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Professor Gallagher stated in his article “Algebra and the Constitution” that, under per capita indexation, Scotland’s devolved tax yield would be increased each year by roughly the growth in the rest of the United Kingdom population, and that would be on top of Barnett. Although he concedes that that might be to Scotland’s advantage, he stated that

“it hardly seems fair to the rest of the UK, which will carry the spending burden created by the new taxpayers”.

When I look again at the article by Professor Gallagher, I see that public expenditure per head on devolved services in Scotland is £1,400 per person higher than it is on average for the rest of the United Kingdom. It is 24% higher than in the rest of the UK. The proportion of spending is enormously higher. We—the English and the rest of the UK taxpayers—are contributing to that, and we have not heard much thanks for that from the Scottish National party this evening.

This is an important issue. When the Minister replies, will he tell the House who is representing the rest of the United Kingdom in these negotiations? The Joint Exchequer Committee contains somebody from the United Kingdom Government and from the Scottish Government, but there is nobody who represents the rest of the United Kingdom.

6.29 pm

Liz McInnes (Heywood and Middleton) (Lab): On 8 June 2015, the Financial Secretary said:

“We have agreed to aim to finalise the fiscal framework by the autumn, alongside the passage of the Scotland Bill through Parliament.”—[Official Report, 8 June 2015; Vol. 596, c. 1012.]

1 believe he meant autumn 2015, not autumn 2016. Some would say even the latter is looking hopeful. The First Minister, on 14 December 2015, raised expectations of a Valentine’s day agreement, following a meeting with the Prime Minister. However, that is only 11 days away now and somehow I doubt there will be an agreement among the hearts and flowers.

Since July 2015, the Joint Exchequer Committee has met eight times. Press releases have been published after each meeting, giving a summary of the broad topics discussed but without going into any great detail. My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray), the shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, has consistently asked that greater details of those meetings be published in the interests of transparency and democratic accountability, yet both the Scottish and UK Governments have refused to publish papers and minutes from the meetings. The opacity of the negotiations has allowed both Governments to exploit them for political purposes. It is disappointing that the Joint Exchequer Committee appears to want to conduct business behind closed doors.

That is not just the opinion of the Labour party. Witnesses appearing before the House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs were concerned about the lack of information on the progress of the fiscal framework. Some felt it possible for information to be provided, for instance on points of disagreement and on the timetable for conclusion. That is an important point: if points of disagreement were made available, everyone would be able to see the main sticking points.

I call on the SNP in this House to play its part in bringing forward the deal and to be open about the sticking points in negotiations with the Government.

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I have relatives in Scotland. They passed on to me SNP election literature that they received. It states:

“The SNP will play a constructive role in Westminster and bring ideas forward in a positive spirit.”

Now is the ideal opportunity for the SNP to fulfil its election promise to my relatives and to the people of Scotland, by supporting Scottish Labour MSPs who voted today to increase income tax to escape Tory cuts to Scotland’s public services.

6.32 pm

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I wish to speak for England. The current settlement between Scotland and England, as the constituents of many of my right hon. and hon. Friends know, is not fair. It is very important that the Government take full account of the needs of England, as well as being scrupulously careful to meet the promises they and the other leading parties made to each other during the Scottish referendum. Please do not make the settlement even less fair to England as a result of the changes going through with the transfer of tax revenues, particularly income tax, to the Scottish Parliament and Government.

It is extremely difficult to know what factors lie behind an increase or a diminution in revenues. Some of us study it and we feel we get somewhere near the truth by looking at historical patterns, but it is clear that sometimes when the tax rate is put up we receive less, rather than more, revenue. Models have to reflect those perverse effects, particularly on higher levels of tax. Sometimes a tax increase may in itself, if it is one of the lower tax rates, produce some increase in revenue, but then something else happens that actually reduces the revenue. Conversely, there can be windfall effects through no particular action by the Government.

Scotland has had a very good windfall effect, not just from oil revenues proper, but from income tax revenues as a result of the very high price of oil in recent years and the way that drove up a large number of incomes in the oil and oil service sector. Unfortunately, from Scotland’s point of view, that may now be reversing. The model we use to assess what the revenues are now and what they are likely to be in the future has to be able to capture that complexity. I fear that a lot of the models used in the past by both Governments have not captured that because there are rather extreme effects when there is a big change in the price of oil. That needs to be used to inform the debate about how the grant should adjust to the changes in tax revenue.

It appears from what the Scottish nationalists have been saying that, while they want the power to vary income tax, there are absolutely no circumstances in which they would ever do so. They would always wish to keep the income tax rate in Scotland absolutely in line with England’s. That seems to be their very clear position. We have not been able to draw out of them any circumstances in which they would do so, but that makes the modelling a bit easier, because many of the changes in revenue are not going to come from changes in tax rates—as I say, they do not want to do that. They will come from the economic effects of their other policies.

6.35 pm

Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith) (SNP): Like everyone in Scotland, we have an interest in these

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negotiations. I thank the Leader of the Opposition for bringing this debate to the Chamber, especially in view of the time pressures. It is important to conclude the negotiations quickly. As has been mentioned, the parties standing in the Holyrood elections will want to fashion their manifestos with the extra responsibilities in mind and lay their plans before the Scottish people in good time.

Labour’s leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale, has already started with her proposed tax increase, which would mean that basic rate taxpayers would pay 5% more tax than they do now, that being the effect of a 1% rise in the base rate. It is a brave strategy and I am sure we will watch her progress with interest.

We note from the motion that Labour wants all the negotiations out in the open. May I gently remind that party that the Smith commission was not the first to examine Scottish devolution? It followed the Calman commission, which resulted in the 2012 Act, and that followed the constitutional convention of the 1990s. Never were the negotiations over the fiscal model conducted in public. The Treasury statement of funding policy to the devolved Administrations, now in its seventh edition, was presented as a fait accompli. It was never fair to Scotland, and it became a hurdle that the Scottish Government had to clear in trying to deliver for Scotland.

The introduction of local income tax in Scotland was held back as a result of the refusal of the then Chancellor, now in the other place, to amend the funding policy to allow council tax benefit to be applied to a new tax system. Of course, Labour was in government both in London and Edinburgh at the time the funding policy was created, and the negotiations were in private. As we would expect, nothing was made public at that time. At least with the involvement of the SNP Scottish Government, we know that someone in there is standing up for Scotland, and we are hearing at least some of the details.

We understand Labour’s frustration—we all want to know what is going on—but it would be a foolish negotiator who gave away their entire position with the first round of tea. Time is running out, however, and if the deal is not done, the Scottish Government will be left with no choice but to take the issue back to the people. A deal that is not good for Scotland will not be acceptable either to the Scottish Government or to we who sit on these Benches casting a gimlet eye in the UK Government’s direction.

A couple of weeks will determine whether the coming Scottish Parliament election is fought in a spirit of good-spirited competition. The alternative will be a Scottish electorate once more setting their face against a UK Government who have forgotten that governing can be done only by consent. The ideal solution, of course, is independence, but we will have to wait a little while longer for that. In the meantime, we must have a system that can serve Scotland’s people well.

6.38 pm

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): My remarks will be very brief. I take note of the comment just made on independence and the concern about the Labour income tax. My understanding in terms of what has happened to North sea oil is that independence would require income tax to go up by approximately 20p in the

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pound. The point I want to make, however, is that we are talking about two terms: “fairness”, which has been mentioned a lot, and “no detriment”, which has also been mentioned a lot. I am not at all sure, having heard the dialogue, that those two things are reconcilable.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (John Redwood) said that we accept that the Barnett formula has been conceded and that it means that per capita expenditure in Scotland is 115% of that in England. That was what was agreed and it will presumably be the cornerstone of the agreement. However, it would not be right if, as a result of the agreement currently being negotiated, “no detriment” means that, whatever happens in Scotland and whatever decisions are made by the Scottish Government, the 115% ratio will stay the same indefinitely. I shall have a great deal of difficulty with that, as will my constituents. I should add that my constituents entirely agree with the concept of a Scottish Parliament. They agree that it is right for the people of Scotland to be able to choose their priorities, whether it is a question of prescriptions or tuition fees.

George Kerevan (East Lothian) (SNP): In all his years of learning, has the hon. Gentleman not grasped the fact that the Barnett formula is specifically designed to bring per capita levels of spending in every region and nation of the United Kingdom to the same level?

David Mowat: In all those years, I stayed away from the Barnett formula, but since the hon. Gentleman has raised the point, I will respond to it. No one who has seriously considered the Barnett formula thinks that it is an attempt to be a proxy for relative need; nor is it true that the Barnett squeeze to which the hon. Gentleman has just referred really happens. I note that no Welsh Members are present, but the Barnett formula has caused a massive problem in Wales.

It strikes me that the formula presented an opportunity to the Scottish nationalist party to show how progressive and internationalist they were. It seems to me that a progressive party of the left, an internationalist party, would not say, “We in Scotland want every single penny that we can get.” The approach of such a party would take account of need in Wales, in England, in my constituency, and elsewhere.

I ask the Chief Secretary, in the negotiations that he is currently leading, to bear in mind that, however we interpret the phrase “no detriment”, the ratio of increased expenditure in Scotland—the figure should be higher than it is in England on the basis of need, but not as much higher as it is now—should not be allowed to continue and be built on, no matter what decisions are made in respect of the relative economies over the next few years.

6.41 pm

Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): This is an important debate not just because it proposes a fiscal framework for Scotland, but because of the huge impact on my electors in North Durham.

The Secretary of State said that he wanted no detriment to Scotland and a fair deal for the rest of the United Kingdom, but we do not know that there will be a fair

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deal for the rest of the United Kingdom. The Secretary of State said, strangely, that the negotiations required “a degree of privacy”, but what we actually have is secrecy. He then used what I considered to be new terminology, although it has clearly been well practised by this Government: he said that one of the roles of the press was to leak. At the end of the day, however, my constituents and I have no way of influencing or scrutinising what happens in the negotiations.

John Redwood: Does the hon. Gentleman think that the current distribution of grant and other money between England and Scotland is fair?

Mr Jones: No, I do not. Scottish Members were crying over Barnett, but my constituents would welcome the levels of expenditure that we see in Scotland. The main point is this, though. How can I, a Member of the House of Commons, scrutinise this deal if it is done behind closed doors, in a way that is clearly intended to satisfy the Scottish nationalist party—[Interruption.] The point is that I will not have any opportunity to scrutinise that process.

The hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie) trotted out, again, the argument about how badly Scotland had been treated. Let me gently say to him that he needs to look at the percentage of expenditure that the north-east of England has lost. The north-east is not a wealthy region; indeed, it is the poorest region in the United Kingdom, with the highest levels of unemployment, and its views should not be ignored.

The hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr Chope) asked who spoke for England, or the United Kingdom, in the negotiations. If the answer is the Conservatives, I have to say that they have been no friends of the north-east for many years, and we will get a very bad deal. The real test, however, relates to the powers that will be given to the Scottish Government. They already have the alternative of raising revenue, but they do not use it. Instead, they are aping the Conservatives with notions such as the freezing of council tax, which is not at all progressive in terms of redistribution.

The House should have the ability to look at how the deal will affect constituents in the rest of the UK. That said, I do not think we will need to bother, because it is quite clear what the Scottish nationalist party will do. It is going to string it out until May, cry foul and then use its victim mentality, which it has turned into an art form, to persuade the Scottish people that they are getting a raw deal from the rest of us. I do not think, therefore, that we will find ourselves in that position, which is sad, because it means we are not going to have a debate this May in Scotland about the use of the powers; instead, we are going to have the victim mentality. The SNP will blame the rest of us in the UK for the poor deal it has got, when, frankly, it does not give a damn about my constituents or any others in the UK.

6.45 pm

Maggie Throup (Erewash) (Con): As everybody in the House is aware, the vote in Scotland in 2014, despite the SNP’s thinking it gave the wrong answer, has resulted in the largest shift of power and fiscal responsibility our nations have ever seen. At the time, some of my constituents wanted a say in whether Scotland remained part of the

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UK, yet the system denied them that vote. I can understand why they wanted their say—on the whole, they felt we were better together.

My constituents did not cry about the fact that public spending per head in the east midlands was £8,219, as opposed to £10,275 per head—over £2,000 more—in Scotland, yet the SNP gripes about every little thing that does not fit its narrow agenda. Only the Conservatives, skilfully led by Ruth Davidson in Scotland, are standing up for the 2 million Scottish voters who overwhelmingly rejected independence at the ballot box. They want not another divisive independence debate, but a plan to tackle the everyday issues that affect them most, such as health, education and jobs. That is what this Government are delivering.

Everything done for Scotland by the UK Government, whether on the fiscal framework or the Scotland Bill more widely, is based on the Smith principles. If the powers in the Bill are used well by the Scottish Government, Scotland will do well. I disagree fundamentally with the SNP and its dogged determination to break up our country, but at least it fights for what it believes is best for the Scottish people. Sadly, that cannot be said for Labour, which clearly has no plan for Scotland, as shown by this debate.

It is all well and good debating how much of taxpayers’ money goes from one pot to another, but with devolution comes responsibility for the countries within the Union to make their own way in the world. Labour and the SNP both oppose Trident. If they got their way, thousands of jobs would be lost and it would have a major impact on the Scottish economy and Britain’s security.

Above all, I am concerned about British taxpayers, whether north or south of the border. I therefore urge my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary, who is leading the negotiations on the fiscal framework, to ensure adequate protections in any agreement, so that future Scottish Governments cannot simply come back, cap in hand, to the UK Treasury because they have taken the wrong fiscal decisions.

6.48 pm

Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) (Lab): It is not fashionable these days to describe oneself as British, but I am proud to be British. I was born to a Scottish mother, which is where I get my name Andrew, of Welsh parentage, which is where I get my surname Gwynne, and I am proud to be English, Mancunian and Dentonian.

The powers being extended to the Scottish Parliament and Government have far-reaching implications for the rest of the UK. I want the asymmetric nature of devolution evened out across the UK, and I want the Scottish Parliament within the UK to succeed using its fiscal and welfare powers, because that is exactly where the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Mayor of Greater Manchester want to take devolution in my city region. I call on the Government to press ahead with the deal. Let us challenge the Scottish Parliament to use those powers, and let us extend them to the rest of the UK.

6.49 pm

Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston) (Lab/Co-op): May I start by thanking all Members who have made important contributions to the debate? I will mention

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just a few because of the brief time we have left. My hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Middleton (Liz McInnes) spoke about how we need transparency to see if the agreement is fair, and challenged the SNP not just to manage Tory austerity but to do something about it. The right hon. Member for Wokingham (John Redwood) talked about how the position of the SNP is not to use tax powers, but it has given no indication of ever using them; indeed, the hon. Member for Edinburgh North and Leith (Deidre Brock) refused to say whether they would use new powers and seems to want local income tax.

Several hon. Members rose

Seema Malhotra: I am afraid that, in the interests of time, I will have to proceed.

My hon. Friend the Member for North Durham (Mr Jones) said that there is a critical issue about the rest of the UK and the need to scrutinise the deal to make sure his constituents, too, are represented. While the hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie) commented on the performance of the Secretary of State, he may want to work harder on getting his own facts right. He claimed that the Labour party has spent air passenger duty twice, and it is true: once on mitigating tax credit cuts, when Labour in the end no longer needed to use it for that, and then, secondly, reallocating it to supporting people to buy their first home.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) observed, the focus of today’s debate is the transfer of new powers to Scotland—powers that will transform the Scottish Parliament into one of the most powerful devolved Administrations in the world with the ability to make different choices to create a better Scotland. That is the essence of devolution: the chance to take a different path based on different circumstances; the chance to reject the short-term Tory cuts—false economies that will hurt Scotland. The new powers to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament will only enhance the range of choices on offer. The Scotland Bill that is due to transfer those powers was based on the recommendations of the Smith commission— recommendations which were agreed by all parties.

Of course, the Smith commission was based on the solemn promise made to the people of Scotland. The Scotland Bill was passed in this place and is currently being debated in the other place. The only sticking point—the only remaining obstacle—is agreement on the fiscal framework. Until that revised framework is agreed by the Conservative Government and the SNP Government, the Scotland Bill cannot be enacted, and without agreement, Scotland will never get the power and responsibility it has been promised. As Labour’s motion states, the lack of transparency from the Tories and the SNP continues to block progress.

The deadline for concluding the negotiations has consistently been pushed back, yet no one outside the two Governments knows the reasons why. We need a negotiated agreement in order to move on, otherwise the new powers will lie dormant; and we need an agreement before the Scottish Parliament rises for the Holyrood elections in May.

There has been a democratic deficit at the heart of the negotiations of Scotland’s revised fiscal framework. It is a deficit that must be closed, and that is the purpose of today’s debate. It is a deficit caused by the Tories in

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Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood, a deficit that is hurting, not helping, the people of Scotland—

[Interruption.]

An agreement has not been reached. Only when the Scotland Bill is enacted and the powers transferred can we truly move on from the constitutional wrangling that has come to dominate the political discourse in Scotland.

The questions that my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh South has asked remain unanswered, so I will reiterate them. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced today that he would be in Scotland—[Interruption.] I hope that he will have a chance to listen to me in a moment. He announced today that he would be in Scotland for more talks on Monday. What are his aspirations for that meeting? Perhaps he could share them with us today. Does he recognise 12 February as a final deadline? What will happen if that deadline is missed? Will the Secretary of State publish the final offers for both parties, for transparency purposes? Has consideration been given to agreeing a deal for a trial period, to allow for assessment and adjustment? I call upon the UK Government to publish all minutes and papers from the Joint Exchequer Committee negotiations and to assure the House that every effort is being made to ensure that an agreement on the revised fiscal framework will be reached and the Scotland Bill will be passed prior to the Scottish Parliament elections.

6.55 pm

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Greg Hands): This Government are united in their belief in a successful and prosperous Scotland—a Scotland that is strengthened through being part of the United Kingdom and whose presence makes the United Kingdom itself stronger. It is clear to us that the Scottish people should have greater control over their affairs and that the Government in Edinburgh should be more accountable. The referendum of 2014 was a defining moment in Scotland’s history. The Scottish people’s voice was clear: they wanted to make Britain stronger and not to break Britain up. It is now right that we should deliver a fair and lasting settlement that works for Scotland and for the UK as a whole. The UK Government are committed to delivering the Smith agreement, which, let us remind ourselves, was agreed by all five parties in Scotland, including Labour and the Scottish National party. That commitment has driven every step of our work.

James Berry (Kingston and Surbiton) (Con): What assessment has the Chief Secretary to the Treasury made of Labour’s recently announced plans to put up income tax in Scotland? What impact does he think that would have on the Scottish economy?

Greg Hands: I was amazed by Labour’s announcement in the Scottish Parliament yesterday about wanting to increase income tax. I think it would be a disaster for the Scottish economy and for the people of Scotland, so I wholly agree with my hon. Friend.

The Smith agreement was clear: the Scottish Government should bear the economic responsibility for their decisions; or, as the Scottish Deputy First Minister has put it:

“If we take on a responsibility and make a success of it, we should bear the fruit of that; if we get it wrong, we must bear the consequences”.

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1038

I want to make three main points. Why are we doing this taxpayer devolution? The answer is to give Scotland one of the most powerful and accountable devolved Parliaments in the world. The stress there must be on the word “accountable”. Since 2010, the amount of taxes raised in Scotland and spent by the Scottish Government will have increased from around 10% to around 20% under the Scotland Act 2012, and to 40% under these proposals. These measures would also allow the Scottish Government the opportunity to grow their economy, to use new devolved powers and to see the fruits of their efforts.

Mr Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) (LD): The Chief Secretary to the Treasury is right to say that accountability is at the heart of this matter. That is why we must have a deal, and if we do not get one, we in this House and those in the Scottish Parliament need to be told the reason why. Without a deal, the people of Scotland face the prospect of going to the polls in May not knowing exactly what powers will be given to the Parliament.

Greg Hands: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that intervention, which leads me nicely on to the fact that the UK Government are absolutely committed to getting a deal. I announced earlier today, before the Scottish Affairs Committee, that I will be going to Edinburgh on Monday to continue the negotiations. I am hopeful that we will get—

Mike Weir (Angus) (SNP) claimed to move the closure (Standing Order No. 36).

Question put forthwith, That the Question be now put.

Question agreed to.

Question put accordingly (Standing Order No. 31 (2)), That the proposed words be there added.

The House divided:

Ayes 54, Noes 297.

Division No. 186]

[

6.59 pm

AYES

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Arkless, Richard

Bardell, Hannah

Black, Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Boswell, Philip

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Cherry, Joanna

Cowan, Ronnie

Crawley, Angela

Day, Martyn

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, Stuart Blair

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Hendry, Drew

Hosie, Stewart

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Law, Chris

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McDonald, Stewart Malcolm

McDonald, Stuart C.

McGarry, Natalie

McLaughlin, Anne

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Mullin, Roger

Newlands, Gavin

Nicolson, John

O'Hara, Brendan

Oswald, Kirsten

Paterson, Steven

Robertson, rh Angus

Sheppard, Tommy

Stephens, Chris

Thewliss, Alison

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Weir, Mike

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Williams, Hywel

Wilson, Corri

Wishart, Pete

Tellers for the Ayes:

Jonathan Edwards

and

Liz Saville Roberts

NOES

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Allen, Heidi

Amess, Sir David

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Sir Henry

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, Dr James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr qaIain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Elliott, Tom

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollingbery, George

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kinahan, Danny

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Mr Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shannon, Jim

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, David

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Iain

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Throup, Maggie

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wilson, Sammy

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

Jackie Doyle-Price

and

Simon Kirby

Question accordingly negatived.

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1039

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1040

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1041

Question put (Standing Order No. 31(2), That the original words stand part of the Question.

The House divided:

Ayes 201, Noes 295.

Division No. 187]

[

7.12 pm

AYES

Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Dr Roberta

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brake, rh Tom

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burgon, Richard

Butler, Dawn

Byrne, rh Liam

Cadbury, Ruth

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, rh Jeremy

Cox, Jo

Coyle, Neil

Crausby, Mr David

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

De Piero, Gloria

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Fletcher, Colleen

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Gardiner, Barry

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Goodman, Helen

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Healey, rh John

Hendrick, Mr Mark

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hillier, Meg

Hodge, rh Dame Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hollern, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Kinnock, Stephen

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lucas, Ian C.

Lynch, Holly

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

McCabe, Steve

McCarthy, Kerry

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGinn, Conor

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

McKinnell, Catherine

McMahon, Jim

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Miliband, rh Edward

Morden, Jessica

Morris, Grahame M.

Mulholland, Greg

Murray, Ian

Nandy, Lisa

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Pearce, Teresa

Pennycook, Matthew

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Pound, Stephen

Pugh, John

Rayner, Angela

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees, Christina

Reeves, Rachel

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Ryan, rh Joan

Shah, Naz

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sherriff, Paula

Shuker, Mr Gavin

Siddiq, Tulip

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smeeth, Ruth

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Smyth, Karin

Starmer, Keir

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stuart, rh Ms Gisela

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thornberry, Emily

Timms, rh Stephen

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, rh Keith

Vaz, Valerie

Watson, Mr Tom

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Dame Rosie

Woodcock, John

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Vicky Foxcroft

and

Sue Hayman

NOES

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Allen, Heidi

Amess, Sir David

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Sir Henry

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, Dr James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dinenage, Caroline

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Elliott, Tom

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollingbery, George

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kinahan, Danny

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Mr Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Paisley, Ian

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Shannon, Jim

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, David

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Iain

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wilson, Sammy

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

Simon Kirby

and

Jackie Doyle-Price

Question accordingly negatived.

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1042

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1043

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1044

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1045

Business without Debate

Deferred divisions

Motion made and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 43A(3)),

That, at this day’s sitting, Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply to the Motion in the name of John Penrose relating to Reform of the Electoral Law of the EU (Reasoned Opinion).—(Kris Hopkins.)

Question agreed to

European Union Documents

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 119(11)),

Reform of the Electoral Law of the EU (Reasoned Opinion)

That this House takes note of Unnumbered European Union Documents, a European Parliament Resolution of 11 November 2015 on the reform of the electoral law of the European Union, and a Proposal for a Council Decision adopting the provisions amending the Act concerning the election of members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage; supports the Government’s initial view that it is not persuaded of the merits of many of the proposed measures, and that a number of the proposals concern issues that should be decided at a national level; further notes that there is a power of national veto in respect of the European Parliament’s Proposal, and that the Government is therefore not committed to agreeing to any of the proposed measures; and considers that the Proposed Council Decision does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity for the reasons set out in annex 2 to Chapter 1 of the Nineteenth Report of the European Scrutiny Committee (HC 342-xviii) and, in accordance with Article 6 of Protocol (No. 2) annexed to the EU Treaties on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, instructs the Clerk of the House to forward this reasoned opinion to the Presidents of the European Institutions.—(Kris Hopkins.)

Question agreed to.

Delegated legislation

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6).

Immigration

That the draft Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Order 2016, which was laid before this House on 11 January, be approved.—(Kris Hopkins.)

The Deputy Speaker’s opinion as to the decision of the Question being challenged, the Division was deferred until Wednesday 10 February (Standing Order No. 41A).

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1046

Child Dental Health

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Kris Hopkins.)

7.26 pm

Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley) (Con): I have a well-known interest to declare as a very part-time, or occasional, dentist. I am a member of a number of dental organisations that have applied considerable pressure on me to seek this debate.

On 27 May, the Minister will give the opening address and take questions at the British Dental Association’s annual conference in Manchester. There are 39,000 dentists and 63,000 dental care professionals in the United Kingdom, spread over the four nations, with the majority of them in England. They will wish to hear about the national health service and contracts, but as professionals their biggest concern will probably be child dental health. Perhaps the Minister’s reply could be secret practice for opening the meeting, bearing in mind that, I suspect, very few dentists will be watching us.

Dentists feel that their small branch of general health is seen as a “Cinderella” service and a sideline within the national health service. Increasingly, the biggest problem they face is child dental health in the form of caries. This disease is almost entirely preventable, but it is not being prevented. As the Minister is aware, the biggest single factor in dental caries is sugar. The raw statistics on child dental health are pitiful. Deciduous teeth, or baby teeth, are particularly susceptible to decay as they have thinner enamel compared with permanent dentition, and this obviously contributes to children having dental decay. Dental decay is the No. 1 reason for children aged five to nine being admitted to hospital in the United Kingdom.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP): In Northern Ireland, tooth decay among under-15s has fallen consistently since 2000, and specific education has been done by our health and education Departments to make that happen. The hon. Gentleman referred to those aged between five and 10 consuming sugar. Every child will eat their weight in sugar in a year. Does he agree that we need a tax on sugar, because if we address this at the early stages, we will go a long way towards addressing the problem of tooth decay?

Sir Paul Beresford: I wish it were that simple. I personally believe that that would not make one iota of difference after a few months. One need only stand in the supermarket watching the kids pushing the mothers for sweets and the mothers feeding them to realise that, as I say, it will not make one iota of difference unless it is prohibited, in which case we would have other difficulties that I will not go into.

As I have said, the No. 1 reason for children aged five to nine being admitted to hospital in the United Kingdom is dental decay. The NHS spent £30 million on hospital-based extractions for children aged 18 and under in the year 2012-13. That is 900 children a week, who are being admitted primarily for tooth extraction—often under a general anaesthetic, which carries a slight risk in itself.

I am sure that the Minister is aware of the results of the 2013 child dental health survey. For the sake of those who have not read the statistics and who may

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glance tomorrow at the debate, I will touch on some of the figures. For example, 31% of five-year-olds had obvious decay in their primary teeth. That figure was higher in more deprived areas, where 41% of those eligible for free school meals had decayed primary teeth, in comparison with 29% of other children of the same age. Of five-year-olds who were eligible for free school meals, 21% had severe or extensive tooth decay, compared with only 11% of those who were not eligible.

By the age of 15, 46% of our children have tooth decay. Of the 15 year-olds, 59% of those eligible for free school meals had decay, compared with 43% of other children of the same age; 45% reported that their daily life had been affected by problems with their teeth and their mouth in the previous three months; and 28% reported being embarrassed to smile or laugh because of the condition of their teeth. Those are 15-year-olds, who are suddenly taking notice of the world and hoping to be taken notice of themselves.

Mr Graham Allen (Nottingham North) (Lab): I thank the hon. Gentleman for kindly taking an intervention, as we discussed beforehand; I also obtained the Minister’s permission to intervene. The hon. Gentleman knows more than anyone else in the House about the matter, and he is widely respected for what he does. He knows that I am the chair of a charity in Nottingham North that has three public health ideas, one of which is that every three-year-old should have the free NHS dental check. I am attempting to work with local dentists to make that happen, but without success; believe me, I have tried. Will the hon. Gentleman facilitate for me a meeting with the British Dental Association to discuss the matter? If I may, I will use this opportunity to ask the Minister to see me, at his convenience, to discuss how we can get dentists to help three-year-olds, who are entitled to that check.

Sir Paul Beresford: I would be more than happy to do so, because that has to be one the key ways forward. Sadly, the problems are not new, and people are looking at them. One of the areas that I have discovered to be a considerable problem is the dental care of disabled children. I draw the Minister’s attention to a recent report entitled “Open wide”, published by an organisation called Contact a Family. In addition, I know from my local government days that dental care for children in care is exceedingly poor.

The situation is not new; it has gone on for decades. I am not sure whether it is getting worse, but it is certainly not getting any better. I first practised dentistry in this country on the NHS in east London. The state of our child patients’ dental health, compared with that which I left behind in New Zealand, was staggering. Every Thursday, I or the principal of the practice ran general anaesthetic sessions with an anaesthetist. Fortunately, it is forbidden to do so now. Those sessions were packed with patients, predominantly little children, who had to have all or most of their teeth out. It was appalling, but not as appalling as seeing those children in pain when they came in, having had sleepless nights as a result of dental decay.

I will touch on the issue of sweet things. I went to the local supermarket, where there were huge long racks of biscuits, cakes, sweets and sweet drinks. However, the racks of fruit, vegetables and meat were infinitely shorter.

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Most of the children I dealt with did not have toothbrushes, and most of the parents were unaware that their children had such damaged teeth because of their diet.

Prevention, with progressively increasing reductions to NHS costs, can be achieved. If one realises that the UK population eats about 700 grams of sugar a week—an average of 140 teaspoons of sugar a week—it is obvious that a reduction is a necessity. That intake is not spread evenly; it is higher in the north of the country and lower in the south-east. Teenagers, as we would expect, have the highest intake of all age groups, consuming some 50% more sugar, on average, than is recommended.

The Scottish Government have a recent programme called Childsmile, and more than 90,000 nursery school children currently take part in supervised tooth-brushing. The Scottish Government have also directed the distribution of fluoride toothpaste and toothbrushes in the first year of life at nursery and in the first year of primary school. They are having great success: they reckon that, because of the reduced dental care required, they have managed to save the health service £6 million between 2001 and 2009. Wales has a similar programme with similar benefits. In England, we do not have one.

If I may be so bold, I will suggest to the Minister some possible solutions. We need to invest in a national oral health programme, possibly like the one in Scotland. It should particularly target areas with problems of poor oral health. This should be done in nurseries and schools, with the backing of local authorities, which would need a small amount of funding from the Minister’s Department. It would not be too much of a burden on schools to run a check system to ensure that every child in a primary school has visited the dentist once a year. From what the hon. Member for Nottingham North (Mr Allen) said, dentists will obviously have to be persuaded, if not bullied or forced, into such a system.

Not just dental healthcare professionals, but all healthcare professionals, such as midwives, health visitors and pharmacists, should be given the opportunity and training to apply oral health education, including in relation to persuasion on fluoride. The tax on sugar has been mentioned, but I am sceptical about it. Other ways, such as education, will have to be used. Perhaps—just perhaps—we can persuade the producers of such products to tone down the sugar content.

Far and away the biggest—the proven and most successful—way of reducing tooth decay among children, and ultimately adults, is of course fluoride. Fluoride in toothpastes has made a remarkable change. However, that surface application is nowhere near as effective as the fluoridation of water supplies. With fluoridated water supplies, the fluoride builds up in teeth as they develop. As part of a health professional programme, use of oral fluoride for children should be promoted to parents and children until such time as the water supply in the area in which the children live is fluoridated.

We have very few fluoridated areas in England. The marked difference in the incidence of tooth decay in UK fluoridated areas, compared with those in almost identical neighbouring but non-fluoridated areas, is stark and obvious. In the United Kingdom, approximately 330,000 people have naturally occurring fluoride at the right level in their water supply. In addition, some 5.8 million people in different parts of the country are supplied with fluoridation. That is about 6 million out of a total population of about 64 million, which is

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about 10%. The percentage of fluoridated water supplies in the United States is 74%, in Canada 44% and in Australia 80%. I believe that the percentage in New Zealand is not far behind that of Australia.

I have just come back from the southern hemisphere, so perhaps I can use New Zealand as an example. Early in the last century, the New Zealand Government set up a programme to train dental nurses, or what in this country we call dental auxiliaries. They provided dental care and oral hygiene instruction for every child in primary school. Those services were provided in clinics within the grounds of the bigger schools. As hon. Members can imagine, every child in the country called such clinics “the murder house”. These young ladies turned around the dental health of the children of New Zealand. They were trained at three schools in the country, and they predominantly provided dental health care by restoring decayed teeth, whether permanent or deciduous. Since 1954, water supplies in New Zealand have increasingly been fluoridated, and I understand that the demand for treatment in schools for such children has diminished dramatically. There is now one school, not three, and the dental nurses spend about 50% of their time on oral education, not on drilling and filling teeth.

In England, the decision to fluoridate the water supply is, in essence, in the hands of elected councillors. However, I believe it is important that the Government, along with the dental profession, apply pressure on local authority wellbeing boards to implement fluoridation. These boards will need support, professional guidance and scientific advice. They will need to be aware that they will be harangued with misinformation and false scientific facts, and that scaremongering will abound.

I will conclude with an example from a debate in this House on fluoride and fluoridation under the last Labour Government. A Welsh MP claimed that fluoridated water induced brittle bone disease. In fact, research has proved that fluoride in the water supply infinitesimally increases the strength of bones. As I pointed out to the Welsh MP, the All Blacks had recently trampled through the fields of Wales and every one of them had almost certainly been brought up in a fluoridated area. The only broken bones were Welsh.

The extent of dental caries among children in England is sad and it is a disgrace. It has been a disgrace for decades. It is preventable and, if we prevent it, we can make considerable savings to our health service and save the pain and suffering of England’s children. Minister, it is in your hands.

7.40 pm

The Minister for Community and Social Care (Alistair Burt): It is a great pleasure to respond to my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Sir Paul Beresford) and his excellent speech. The House has been fortunate to benefit from his professional knowledge on a number of occasions. As a new Minister coming into office some nine months ago, I had an early meeting with him, from which I benefited hugely and continue to benefit. I am grateful for the way in which he put his case and for the heads-up in respect of what I might do and the speech that I might make to the British Dental Association in due course.

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I am grateful that the usual suspects have been here to listen because of their interest in these matters, namely the hon. Members for Strangford (Jim Shannon) and for Nottingham North (Mr Allen). I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Jane Ellison), who is the public health Minister, for being here, together with the Whip and the Parliamentary Private Secretary. I also saw the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Paula Sherriff), who has been to see me to talk about dental matters and who clearly cares very much about these issues.

I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley on securing this very important debate about children’s dental health. Poor oral health in children and young people can affect their ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with other children. Other impacts include pain, infections, poor diet and impaired nutrition and growth. When children are not healthy, it affects their ability to learn, thrive and develop. To benefit fully from education, children need to enter school ready to learn and to be healthy, and they must be prepared emotionally, behaviourally and socially. Poor oral health may also result in children being absent from school to seek treatment or because they are in pain. Parents may also have to take time off work to take their children to the dentist. This is not simply a health issue; it impacts on children’s development and the economy.

It is a fact that the two main dental diseases, dental decay and gum disease, can be almost eliminated by the combination of good diet and correct tooth brushing, backed up by regular examination by a dentist. Despite that, as my hon. Friend has set out, their prevalence rates in England are still too high. Dental epidemiological surveys have been carried out for the past 30 years in England and give a helpful picture of the prevalence and trends in oral health. Public Health England is due to report on the most recent five-year-olds survey in the late spring.

There is a mixture of news, as the House might expect. The good news is that the data we have at present show that oral health in five-year-olds is better than it has ever been, with 72% of five-year-old children in England decay free. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of five-year-old children who showed signs of decay fell by approximately 10%. The mean number of decayed, missing or filled teeth was less than one, at 0.94. Indeed, the data suggest that, notwithstanding the All Blacks’ rugby success and their bone-crushing efforts on the field, oral health in children is currently better in England than in New Zealand. New Zealand’s data for children aged five in 2013 showed that the proportion who were disease free was 57.5% and that the mean number of decayed, missing or filled teeth was 1.88.

Jim Shannon: We have had a marked reduction in dental decay in children since the year 2000, as I said earlier in an intervention. With respect, Minister, I would say that we are doing some good work in Northern Ireland. The Under-Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Battersea (Jane Ellison) knows that I always say, “Let’s exchange ideas and information.” We are doing good work in Northern Ireland and we want to tell Ministers about it.

Alistair Burt: This is possibly the fourth or fifth invitation that I have received from my hon. Friend to come to see different things in Northern Ireland, and he

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1051

is right about every one. He finds in me a willing ear, and we will make a visit because there are several different things to see. Where devolved Administrations and the Department can learn from each other, that matters, and I will certainly take up my hon. Friend’s offer.

In older children there are challenges when comparing different countries, because of how the surveys are carried out. The available data still show that we have among the lowest rates of dental decay in Europe, but despite that solid progress we must do more. There is disparity of experience between the majority of children who suffer little or no tooth decay, and the minority who suffer decay that is sometimes considerable and can start in early life. In this House, we know the children who I am talking about—it is a depressingly familiar case. We can picture those children as we speak, as my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley described in the sometimes horrific parts of what he told the House. The fact that we know that such decay affects children in particular circumstances makes us weep.

Public Health England’s 2013 dental survey of three-year-olds found that of the children in England whose parents gave consent for their participation in the survey, 12% had already experienced dental decay. On average, those children had three teeth that were decayed, missing or filled. Their primary, or baby, teeth will only have just developed at that age, so it is highly distressing for the child, parents, and dental teams who need to treat them. Dental decay is the top cause of childhood admissions to hospitals in seven to nine-year-olds. In 2013-14, the total number of children admitted to hospital for extraction of decayed teeth in England was 63,196. Of those, 10,001 were nought to four-year-olds, and so would start school with missing teeth.

From April 2016, a new oral health indicator will be published in the NHS outcome framework based on the extraction of teeth in hospital in children aged 10 and under. That indicator will allow us to monitor the level of extractions, with the aim of reducing the number of children who need to be referred for extractions in the medium term. Extractions are a symptom of poor oral health, and the key is to tackle the cause of that. Today I commit that my officials will work with NHS England, Public Health England and local authorities to identify ways to reach those children most in need, and to ensure that they are able and encouraged to access high-quality preventive advice and treatment.

The good news is that the transfer of public health responsibilities to local authorities provides new opportunities for the improvement of children’s oral health. Local authorities are now statutorily obliged to provide or commission oral health promotion programmes to improve the health of the local population, to an extent that they consider appropriate in their areas. In order to support local authorities in exercising those responsibilities, Public Health England published “Local Authorities improving oral health: commissioning better oral health for children” in 2014. That document gives local authorities the latest evidence on what works to improve children’s oral health.

The commitment of the hon. Member for Nottingham North to early intervention and the improvement of children’s chances is noteworthy and well recognised in this House and beyond, and of course he can come to

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1052

see me. I would be happy to discuss with him what he wants to promote in Nottingham, which sounds just the sort of initiative we need.

Public Health England is also addressing oral health in children as a priority as part of its “Best Start in Life” programme. That includes working with and learning from others, such as the “Childsmile” initiative in Scotland, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley referred. It is important that health visitors—I know that the Public Health Minister takes a particular interest in their work—midwives, and the wider early years workforce have access to evidence-based oral health improvement training to enable them to support families to improve oral health.

Public Health England and the Royal College of Surgeons Faculty of Dental Practice are working with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to review the dental content of the red book—the personal child health record—to provide the most up-to-date evidence-based advice and support for parents and carers. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has also produced recent oral health guidance that makes recommendations on undertaking oral health needs assessments, developing a local strategy on oral health, and delivering community-based interventions and activities for all age groups, including children. Community initiatives to improve oral health include supervised fluoride tooth-brushing schemes, fluoride varnish schemes and water fluoridation.

I agree with my hon. Friend that water fluoridation is an effective way of reducing dental decay. However, as the House knows, the matter is not in my hands. Decisions on water fluoridation are best taken locally and local authorities now have responsibility for making proposals regarding any new fluoridation schemes. I am personally in favour. I think I am the only Member in the Chamber who remembers Ivan Lawrence and the spectacular debates we had on fluoridation in the 1980s. He made one of the longest speeches ever. Fluoridation was bitterly and hard-fought-for and I do not think there is any prospect of pushing the matter through the House at present. I am perfectly convinced by the science and that is my personal view, but this is a matter that must be taken on locally.

Diet is also key to improving children’s teeth and Public Health England published “Sugar reduction: the evidence for action” in October 2015. Studies indicate that higher consumption of sugar and sugar-containing foods and drinks is associated with a greater risk of dental caries in children—no surprise there. Evidence from the report showed that a number of levers could be successful, although I agree with my hon. Friend that it is unlikely that a single action alone would be effective in reducing sugar intake.

The evidence suggests that a broad, structured approach involving restrictions on price promotions and marketing, product reformulation, portion size reduction and price increases on unhealthy products, implemented in parallel, is likely to have the biggest impact. Positive changes to the food environment, such as the public sector procuring, providing and selling healthier foods, as well as information and education, are also needed to help to support people in making healthier choices.

Dentists have a key role to play. “Delivering Better Oral Health” is an evidence-based guide to prevention in dental practice. It provides clear advice for dental

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1053

teams on preventative care and interventions that could be delivered in dental practice and school settings. Regular fluoride varnish is now advised by Public Health England for all children at risk of tooth decay.

For instance, the evidence shows that twice yearly application of fluoride varnish to children’s teeth—more often for children at risk—can have a positive impact on reducing dental decay. In 2014-15, for children, courses of treatment that included a fluoride varnish increased by 24.6% on the previous year to 3.4 million. Fluoride varnishes now equate to 30.9% of all child treatments, compared with 25.2% last year. This is encouraging progress.

There are many measures that can and should be taken in order to reduce the prevalence of decay in children, but we recognise it is unlikely that we will be able to eradicate entirely the causes or the effects of poor oral health in children. This means that the continued provision of high quality NHS primary dental services will continue to be an important part of ensuring that every child in England enjoys as high a standard of oral health as possible. NHS England has a duty to commission services to improve the health of the population and reduce inequalities—this is surely an issue of inequality—and also a statutory duty to commission primary dental services to meet local need. NHS England is committed to improving commissioning of primary care dentistry within the overall vision of the “Five Year Forward View”.

Mr Allen: The Prime Minister announced an excellent initiative on life chances less than two weeks ago. The cornerstone of that was improving parenting skills. Will the Minister’s Department ensure that feeding into that process there is, within the parenting programmes, stuff around health in general, but dental health in particular?

Alistair Burt: Yes. [Interruption.] Immediate information passed to me by the Minister with responsibility for public health indicates that that is a very positive initiative and we are indeed taking it up.

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Overall, children’s access to NHS dentistry remains consistently high, with the number of children seen in the 24 months to September 2015 by an NHS dentist standing at 8 million, or 69.6% of the population. There are localised areas where children have access difficulties, but the more common problem is that the parents and carers of the children most at risk do not seek care until the child has developed some disease—this again emphasises the importance of health visitors and others in the process.

To help focus on prevention, the Government are committed to reforming the current system of primary care dentistry to improve access and oral health further. In line with the welcome improvements in oral health over the last 50 years, we need an approach in primary care dentistry that can provide a focus on prevention, while also incentivising treatment where needed.

That is why, following the piloting of the preventative clinical pathway, we are now prototyping a whole possible new system remunerated through a blend of quality, capitation and activity payments. The aim is to allow dentists to focus on prevention and, where appropriate, treatment, and how effective that could be for the children we are talking about. The new approach will be tested until at least 2017. We need to do a proper evaluation and, if successful, numbers will increase with a possibility of a national roll-out for 2018-19.

I hope I have been able to demonstrate the seriousness with which the Government take this subject—a seriousness that I know is accepted by the whole House. It comes back to some fundamental issues of inequality in health that are, as I said, depressingly familiar and which we are all absolutely dedicated to removing. The concept of total clearance for a child—I suspect that none of us has had to contemplate that in our personal lives, but it affects some of our constituents—is something that brings us all up short. I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley for raising this subject for debate.

Question put and agreed to.

7.56 pm

House adjourned.

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1055

Deferred Divisions

Social Security

That the draft State Pension and Occupational Pension Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016, which were laid before this House on 30 November 2015, be approved.

The House divided:

Ayes 297, Noes 73.

Division No. 182]

AYES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Allen, Heidi

Amess, Sir David

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Sir Henry

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, Dr James

Davies, Mims

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fysh, Marcus

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollingbery, George

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Mr Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robinson, Mary

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Tredinnick, David

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

NOES

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Arkless, Richard

Bardell, Hannah

Black, Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Cherry, Joanna

Cowan, Ronnie

Crawley, Angela

Docherty, Martin John

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Donaldson, Stuart Blair

Durkan, Mark

Edwards, Jonathan

Elliott, Tom

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Flynn, Paul

Gale, Sir Roger

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Hendry, Drew

Hermon, Lady

Hoey, Kate

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hosie, Stewart

Kerevan, George

Kinahan, Danny

Law, Chris

Lucas, Caroline

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McDonald, Stewart Malcolm

McDonald, Stuart C.

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McGarry, Natalie

McLaughlin, Anne

Meale, Sir Alan

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Mullin, Roger

Newlands, Gavin

O'Hara, Brendan

Oswald, Kirsten

Paterson, Steven

Pugh, John

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Gavin

Saville Roberts, Liz

Shannon, Jim

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheppard, Tommy

Simpson, David

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Stephens, Chris

Thewliss, Alison

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Weir, Mike

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Williams, Hywel

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Sammy

Wishart, Pete

Question accordingly agreed to.

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1056

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1057

Social Security

That this draft Pensions Act 2014 (Consequential and Supplementary Amendments) Order 2016, which was laid before this House on 30 November 2015, be approved.

The House divided:

Ayes 301, Noes 70.

Division No. 183]

AYES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Allen, Heidi

Amess, Sir David

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Sir Henry

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, Dr James

Davies, Mims

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollingbery, George

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Mr Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robinson, Mary

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Tredinnick, David

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

NOES

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Arkless, Richard

Bardell, Hannah

Black, Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Cherry, Joanna

Cowan, Ronnie

Crawley, Angela

Docherty, Martin John

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Donaldson, Stuart Blair

Durkan, Mark

Edwards, Jonathan

Elliott, Tom

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Flynn, Paul

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Hendry, Drew

Hermon, Lady

Hoey, Kate

Hosie, Stewart

Kerevan, George

Kinahan, Danny

Law, Chris

Lucas, Caroline

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McDonald, Stewart Malcolm

McDonald, Stuart C.

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McGarry, Natalie

McLaughlin, Anne

Meale, Sir Alan

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Mullin, Roger

Newlands, Gavin

O'Hara, Brendan

Oswald, Kirsten

Paterson, Steven

Pugh, John

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Gavin

Saville Roberts, Liz

Shannon, Jim

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheppard, Tommy

Simpson, David

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Stephens, Chris

Thewliss, Alison

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Weir, Mike

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Williams, Hywel

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Sammy

Wishart, Pete

Question accordingly agreed to.

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1058

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1059

3 Feb 2016 : Column 1060